Yesterday was Sunday, which meant it was meal prepping time. I don't do this every week, but I really should. When I am good about making time on Sunday to get some weekly meal prep done, our week is so much better. It took me about four hours to get everything done. That was with interruptions of making dinner and spending time with the family. We were having a double feature of Night at the Museum, so I watched that as I did our weekly meal prep.
The first thing I did was pull everything out of my fridge that could be used...fruits, veggies, hummus, etc. These are all things that make yummy, healthy snacks, but if they are not already cut up we sometimes don't snack on them as much as we should.
Once I pulled everything out, I got to chopping. I chopped up three mangoes to have in a bowl for breakfasts and snacks. We actually had some mangoes and hard boiled eggs for breakfast today. Super quick and easy, since the chopping part was done ahead of time. It also allows those kids to get their own food too, since the prep work is already done.
I also chopped any veggies I could use in lunches and dinners this week. Mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, etc. These are all veggies that can be quickly tossed into casseroles, soups, crock-pot meals, and skillet meals. Having the washing and chopping already done, makes dinner prep time during the week so much easier. I am more likely to use those healthy additions, when I make it more convenient.
When it comes to humus, I like to put it in small tubs, so that the serving size is already figured out. It also makes for a quick snack when you need to grab something and go. It goes perfectly with the cherry tomatoes and baby carrots I bagged as well. The kids have already started snacking on these :)
I also made about a dozen hard boiled eggs. These are a staple in our weekly prep. We use them as a great protein boost for a snack...add a bit of salt and pepper and you are good to go. We also love to throw them into salads, use them to make egg salad sandwiches, etc. Having hard boiled eggs in your fridge gives you more options throughout the week. If my dinner plans ever go awry, I know I have eggs in there I can make a quick salad or sandwich with. Quick and easy is my motto!
I also pulled three cans of tuna and three cans of chicken out of my pantry that needed to be used up. I made a big batch of tune salad and a big batch of chicken salad. Add a little mayo, Lawry's salt, and chopped celery and you have the makings for a yummy salad. Perfect solo or with whole wheat bread for a sandwich.
We also have string cheese, grapes, and yogurt for snacking this week as well. The string cheese I bought at the beginning of the month at Costco and we are just now getting to the end of it. Oh and I pulled out bread, English muffins, and bagel thins from my freezer. I purchased these also at the beginning of the month at Big Lots. They sell discounted breads (like $1.80 each). I stock up at the start of each month and freeze them. Then I have bread items all month long. These will be eaten up this week as well. I love going shopping in my pantry and freezer chest when it comes to the end of the month.
In our veggies and fruits drawers I have apples, tomatoes, collard greens, and spinach. I love to use collard greens raw on sandwiches, instead of lettuce. Seriously so yummy and it is an easy way to get my kids to eat more greens. The apples we love to have solo or with a bit of peanut-butter to dip in. If it is close to dinner time and the kids are begging for snacks, I have them grab an apple. It is a healthy way to hold off that hunger and save me a bit of sanity, while I cook dinner.
I also made a big batch of Italian pasta salad. I used one box of tri-color cooked pasta, 1 cup Italian dressing, 1 cup feta cheese, and 3 roma tomatoes chopped. This salad is one of my favorites. It is simple to throw together and makes enough to last us throughout the week.
Oh on a side note, see that big red water jug in the fridge? I keep that in there all the time filled with water...that way we always have cold water on hand. This helps the family keep their water intake up.
The last thing I did was make a big batch of cookies for the week. These are whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, with peanuts added in. I used this recipe, but did half and half with my flour...half white and half whole wheat. I also threw in some chopped nuts. These will make a great treat during the week.
Meal prepping is actually fairly simple. Use what you already have on hand and make things a bit simpler for you. You can also do this when you first come home from grocery shopping. It helps you to cut down on food waste, since you are prepping everything ahead of time and making meal time easier. It also saves you money because again you are using what you have and cutting down on food going uneaten and wasted. Give it a try this week and you will see that your week will have so much less stress! I am all about lessening my stress level :)
Oh and I made some flavored water too! Here's my recipe :)